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How Semantics Are Steering Dropout Rates in Education

A recent piece in the New York Times, Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares, has drawn considerable reaction from the education community. We spent time with Mark Claypool of ChanceLight Behavioral Health & Education and recently IPPY Silver Award winning author to discuss the behind-the-scenes semantics of education politics and messaging as it relates to key issues like student dropout rates. It becomes clear that the path forward is often riddled with confusing directions and outside interests. Claypool and his co-author, John McLaughlin, had further comment here

Mark ClaypoolMark Claypool is a social entrepreneur, education administrator and former social worker who believes all chilWe're in this Together book coverdren can advance academically, behaviorally and socially if given the right tools in the right environment.  He has held positions in both Tennessee state government and the private sector in mental health, juvenile corrections and education, and has more than two decades of experience in K-12 education, special and alternative education and behavioral health.

Claypool is president and CEO of ChanceLight Behavioral Health & Education, which works with more than 13,500 clients and students every day to provide behavior therapy and alternative and special education programs through its three divisions: Early Autism Project, Ombudsman Educational Services, and Spectrum Center Schools and Programs.

Claypool is a frequent speaker about the value of public-private partnerships in education and has recently co-authored a book titled, “We’re In This Together: Public-Private Partnerships in Special At-Risk-Education.” 




Check out previous discussions with Mark Claypool here!

ChanceLight Behavioral Health & Education is a partner of MindRocket Media Group the parent company of edCircuit.

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  • Some notes:

    How to create educator friendly products is the question. There have been many to date, but they have been mostly created by educators. There are so many examples of products that seem good but fail in the classroom.

    Who gets to decide success rate of charters or contract schools? This isn’t about competition. This is about how good the alternatives are. It isn’t as simple as unions are against them. UFT and AFT founder Al Shanker actually “created them” decades ago. The questions are who runs each school,who teaches those kids, and how.

    School reform destructive dynamic: College required? Why do so many charters call their students “scholars”? That means they are out of touch.

    How do we provide alternatives to drug sales? Gladwell says most drug dealers live with mom… make no $. https://articles.latimes.com/2005/apr/24/opinion/oe-dubner24

    Popular media does lead us astray.

    Election and education: Yes. Focus on state and local levels. However the Federal government isn’t quite washing its hands of their missteps in education especially if major contributors want it to be so. We need to make sure that the Fed provides equity in funding.

    Innovations need to come from really bright and creative educators who have been stifled, quit, or simply chosen to go into other fields. Will entrepreneurs be more open minded, respect them and partner with them without the arrogance of thinking they have the answers to a field they have no experience in?

    The test score push and “measurables” have pushed entrepreneurs into ed tech. That is a big mistake. Good point. But will they continue to push for what sells and needs replenished sales, like hardware and software?

    Bottom line: resources plus methodology plus teachers who can connect with kids need any help they can get. Be sure to listen and work with them, not in ways that area or that they easily see as against them

    May 25, 2016
  • While we are talking about semantics -lets look at the words ‘push-out’ rather than blame the student who ‘drops out’.

    May 29, 2016

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